Eacom Timber's Ear Falls sawmill in northwestern Ontario will restart next spring with a new long-term labour in hand.
Unifor announced Oct. 9 that it reached a deal with the Montreal-based forestry giant that will start up the mill that has been idled since December 2009 after the crash of the U.S. housing industry.
The mill employs 125 unionized employees and up to 175 in harvesting and hauling operations on the Trout Forest.
In a statement, Stephen Boon, Unifor's national representative said local MPP Sarah Campbell and Minister of Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti “have been very supportive in ensuring Eacom could secure a Crown softwood supply to run the mill at capacity.
The mill will produce more than 150 million board of feet of stud lumber annually.
The contract will be in place by the spring startup and ends in May, 2022.
The first year of the deal includes a 1 per cent raise and escalates to 3.5 per cent in the final year of the contract with top maintenance rates of $37 an hour and production rates of $32 an hour.
“We have maintained an excellent working relationship with Eacom during this entire process and we are extremely pleased to have reached a solid, long-term deal that contains what may be some of the best language and compensation of any sawmill in Eastern Canada."
Unifor is a new union formed following the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and Communications, and the Energy and Paperworkers.
The union also reported it has also reached a deal with Resolute Foret Product to extend a paper machine run at the Fort Frances mill.
The company and union locals 92 and 306 have agree to extend a July manpower agreement allowing the No. 7 paper machine to run up to December 15.
In a statement, Boon said the original agreement was expected to conclude next week, but after meetings with management resulted in an extension to help the company filling additional paper orders.
About 40 unionized employees have been working on the machine since July.